“We really love the show but we’re hating the burrs.”
The comment was a common theme at the 2017 Gunnedah Show according to show society president Rob Witts.
He fielded countless comments of the type from this year’s show patrons who paid the thorny price of lapping up the awesome Autumn sunshine in thongs.
He blamed council’s “reduced level” of showground maintenance for the proliferation of weeds.
“It’s unfortunate [the maintenance] is for only a couple of weeks before the show and not 12 months of the year,” Mr Witts said.
His sentiments follow a letter to the editor last week which described the state of grounds as a “disgrace” and said it was irresponsible of council to be cultivating the problem weed.
“This year the grounds were an utter disgrace with khaki weed in abundance,” the letter read.
“It was impossible to walk anywhere in the grounds without accumulating khaki weed on one’s shoes. The weed was then spread further around the grounds and further afield with entry into cars. This weed is a blight on our environment and for council property to be cultivating the weed is a disgrace.”
The showground is owned by the crown and while the show society maintains upkeep of showground buildings and structures, council is responsible for grounds maintenance.
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Council said it undertook a number of steps to prepare the show site including weed spraying.
“Council was in contact with the show society in the lead-up to the show and undertook a number of steps to ready the grounds, including spraying weeds and burrs in addition to the normal maintenance schedule,” a council spokesperson said.
“Council has only received positive feedback from the show society in regards to the preparation of the grounds.
“We have not received any concerns regarding the preparation of the grounds. We welcome the opportunity to discuss any matters which the show society may wish to bring to council’s attention in that regard.”
Khaki weed is native to Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, according NSW Department of Primary Industries webpage NSW WeedWise.
“Khaki weed spreads by seed within spiny bracts that adhere to tyres, clothing and animals,” the webpage says. “Local spread may also occur through spreading stems that root at nodes. Widespread in wasteland, caravan parks, orchards and recreation areas. Spines are a problem with dogs and stock but are particularly troublesome to humans and readily penetrate skin.”